The Smiler rollercoaster stalls for third time

The SmilerAlton Towers’ latest rollercoaster The Smiler has stalled for the third time during morning testing.

The £18 million Gerstlauer ride has been dogged by operational problems since its opening on 31 May.

A photograph on Twitter appears to show a stationary train loaded with weighted dummies, as opposed to previous failures which have featured empty trains.

A crane has been required to return the train to the loading station during previous stalls, leading to the closure of the X Sector part of the park.

However this morning the area has remained open, with the stalled Smiler train clearly visible to the public as a recovery crane moves into position.

Over the weekend, Alton Towers began selling Fastrack tickets for the ride for the first time, much earlier than usual for new rides launched at Merlin Entertainments theme parks.

Queue times for the 14-inversion rollercoaster have been advised of being up to 3.5 hours during its opening period.